Bodies of two men found in ship’s hull

2014-06-24 00:00

THE badly decomposed bodies of two men, thought to be West African stowaways, were discovered deep in the hold of a ship moored in Durban Harbour on Sunday.

Police were called to the scene when the ship’s crew made the grim discovery guided by the scent of the rotting corpses.

They were found squeezed into a shaft within a grain hold and appear to have sneaked onto the ship with a stockpile of food and water.

The vessel had been bound for Panama following its trip around the African coastline.

The identities of the men and what caused their deaths remains unclear. Police and state pathology services are investigating the incident.

The ship, which had been carrying a cargo of crushed maize used in the production of chicken feed, had docked in Durban following a similar stop in Cape Town.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that an inquest docket was being investigated by detectives stationed at Maydon Wharf.

“At this point we know very little. What caused the men to die and how they managed to get onto the ship will be a point of focus for the detectives,” he said.

Police search and rescue officers were specialised in the technical recovery of bodies were called to the scene before midday.

Equipped with harnesses and safety equipment, the officers chambered into the shaft. The ship’s loading crane was used to hoist the officers and the corpses out of the hold.

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